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Speculation rife over ACC leak

Tuesday 27 Mar 2012 5:01 p.m.

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By Patrick Gower

The ACC privacy scandal has taken another political twist, with ACC Minister Judith Collins coming under pressure to explain who leaked Bronwyn Pullar's identity.

Ms Collins says she is “100 percent certain” she didn’t leak the details, and refused to speculate on who was responsible, prompting Labour MP Grant Robertson to demand answers.

“If it’s not from her office Ms Collins needs to explain how it did get out from an agency she's responsible for,” he said today.

In the days after the ACC’s 6,000-person privacy breach was revealed by the media, Ms Collins was emailed an explanation by Ms Pullar's support person, former National Party president Michelle Boag.  

Then came the counter-leak; Ms Pullar was revealed as the source, and Ms Boag’s email was leaked.

Ms Collins says the leak was not from “anyone in my office” and the email was sent to two people in the ACC – chairman John Judge, and chief executive Ralph Stewart.

Speculation is rife, especially given that when Ms Pullar's identity was revealed it started a trail to Nick Smith, and his ministerial downfall.

Mr Robertson says there are “many unanswered questions about cronyism, about the role of National Party members and officials and about how information made it into the public arena” surrounding the ACC case.

The other parties involved all deny the leak; while the intention seems to have been to discredit Bronwyn Pullar, it ended up wiping out Nick Smith. And whoever did it knows if they get found out, they will be next.

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